Monday, October 23, 2006

Essen 2006 - Day 2/19.10.06

We met up this morning and had a leisurely breakfast, discussing what games we wanted to buy and things especially wanted to do. We had all printed out lists off of the web, Spielbox had a really good one, and noted all the possible purchases. Fiske, a friend of Jo’s was meeting up with us at the Messe later. We set off for the short metro ride to the halls arriving about 9.45, we soon had our tickets and Jo departed to stock up from the cash machine. We arranged to meet at the Winsome Games stand, Garry wanted to go there first as he had pre-ordered some AoS maps. The crowds were surging into the fair and we plunged in, there was quite a crowd at Winsome because pre-ordered items had to be picked up between 10-12 and the free player mats went in 20 minutes. Jo arrived to claim his copies and we decided to split meeting at the steps by the restaurant, a favourite gathering point, later.

Garry and AoS maps at Winsome Games

It was great just wandering around taking in all the atmosphere, I had only been once before in 2003, doing the round trip from the UK and back in a day. This time we could take more time and take it all in, it really is a paradise for gamers. A lot of english and americans visit the fair, we got talking to a guy from Southampton at the Allgamesfor you stand.
Some of the fantasy role-playing costumes and equipment are something else. Whole suits of armour and chainmail, swords, axes and some great characters in costume selling it all. I tried the weight of the chainmail and boy was it heavy, just imagine wearing that all day!

Garry feeling the weight of chainmail

We started checking out the prices on various stalls, and it was surprising how much some of them varied. Soon it was approaching 12 noon the time we were due to meet Fiske.....and sure enough there he was, he had missed the 9.12am ICE train by minutes and had to wait for the 10.12. It was the first time we had met and Fiske was kind enough to say he enjoyed reading the Billygames blog.

The AllGames4You stand

Garry lost in the AllGames4You

The rest of the day was spent checking out possibles and picking up games we had pre-ordered, I had to get Hameln, the latest Fragor Bro offering, and Metromania. The figures in Hameln are really cute, my wife loves the rats. Zoch Games, who are reprinting Shear Panic, had a giant-sized version on display attracting a lot of people. Garry and I were taught Kabale und Hiebe, a card game from Hans Im Gluck, it wasn’t bad but the cards had special abilities on them so you really needed an english version to play. Jo was really pleased when Garry found a copy of Busen Memo for him, in this game you have to match the left and right breasts of 48 women.

The giant-sized Shear Panic from Zoch

The Kosmos Stand

We managed to grap a table to have a look at Eggert-Spiele’s, Imperial. Fiske reckoned it had a bit of Diplomacy in it, there are loads of bits in the game and the board gets really busy. None of us were that impressed and decided not to buy. We all were lugging around our purchases and as we were flying the baggage allowance comes into play. So we were constantly hefting games to see how much they weighed or discounting them because the box was too big. Ah, and I really fancied Shogun too. The time was getting on to 6pm now and frankly I was knackered. We decided to call it a day and make our way back to the hotel. After a quick shower we were meeting up for dinner in the hotel restaurant. It was when I was going to see how my purchases fitted into the suitcase the crisis arose. Before we had left in the morning I had put my passport and some cash into the case and locked it with one of those combination locks. I put in the combination and pulled.....nothing. I tried again, and again, and again. Doh!! No passort or cash and I had visions of running around Essen on our last day trying to buy a hacksaw. Anyway we had a very nice dinner, during which I explained my problem. Fiske and Garry decided to come and have a look, and after some fiddling and deduction managed to release it......phew, was I relieved!!!
So I was able to retrieve the passport and cash and then try and fit all my game purchases in and see how much space I had left. No problem, room for 1 or 2 more I think. I might have a look at Khronos tomorrow.

Dinner at the Hotel Korn

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